California drought affects variety of locals

California now faces the largest drought since it became a state, according to Paul Rodgers with Mercury News. Locals face the consequences.

“I’ve grown up helping my dad manage water in the canyon,” remarks Jeff Klein, a CHS junior and Cachagua resident who’s grown up volunteering for his neighborhood’s water, “and in the ten years I can remember doing this with him I’ve never seen the wells this low.”

Klein explains that well-digging is far from guaranteed. Because Klein taps into hard-to-find aquifers, there’s no guarantee that digging a deeper well for Klein’s small community will yield more water.

“I know personally that a few of my buddies have had to sell off a lot of cattle,” Klein says. “It’s getting to the point where it’s really affecting everybody.”

Earthbound Farms, founded in Carmel Valley and committed to organic produce, is pretty well-adjusted, however.

“By using a drip system instead of sprinklers, not only do we save water, we also don’t water the weeds,” says Janna Williams, Earthbound Farms local farm manager.

Yet this isn’t the only local business impacted by the drought.

Rich Tanguay is the main winemaker at Hellar Estate Organic vineyards. Tanguay oversees workers and makes sure the machinery functions properly.

Despite the vineyards being located in a near-desert in the hills of Cachagua, Tanguay feels Hellar has a natural advantage over other local vineyards due to its long-term exposure to drought conditions.

“It forces the vines to shoot its roots further down into the soil and to find any tributaries or springs,” Tanguay says.

Yet, despite his optimism, Tanguay does concede the seriousness of the matter.

“I’m hoping that we’re going to muddle through here as long as next year we pick up some extra rain, but it could hit us even harder. It could very be that any of the water that we have is minimal and may well be out before we stop watering.”

Local citizens and businesses are clearly feeling the effects of the drought throughout the community. Despite uncertainty whether the drought will continue, the community seems to be doing all it can to alleviate the effects of the drought.

-Jacob Waters